Dick Stein

Midday Jazz Host

Dick Stein has been with KPLU since January, 1992. His duties include hosting the morning jazz show and co-hosting and producing the Food for Thought feature with the Seattle Times’ Nancy Leson. He was writer and director of the three Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen. Previous occupations include the USAF, radio call-in show host, country, classical and top-40 DJ, chimney sweep, window washer and advertising copywriter.

His most memorable KPLU moment: Peeling Alien life form from Erin Hennessey’s face after it leapt at her from the biohazard refrigerator he picked up cheap for the station at an FDA garage sale. Dick is married to nationally noted metalsmith, jewelry designer and cowgirl “Calamity” Cheryl DeGroot.

Ways to Connect


Full disclosure: I don't know whether or not they fry their pizzas in Micronesia. I just wanted a rhyming headline and I liked "Micronesia" better than "Spinal Anesthesia."* Who wouldn't? 

Anyway, they have  been deep-frying pizzas in Europe.  Now the fad has moved stateside.

Nancy Leson

One of the most common flash points of domestic bickering is the optimum method for loading a dishwasher.

And now I'm admitting to my wife, the  Lovely & Talented Cheryl DeGroot, right here on the World Wide Web that I was  – arghhh!  wrong and she was  – gackkk!!... right.  But only about the dishwasher.  I think I've been right about everything else.  For years.  Anyway...

Dine alone and love it

Apr 18, 2012
Cheryl DeGroot

I do. In fact I was pretty surprised to learn that many people are uncomfortable when dining alone in public. I can't imagine why. I enjoy unaccompanied ingestion for lots of reasons.

Nancy Leson

When you ask your dinner host "What should I bring?" and the answer is " dessert" what do you make?

Justin Steyer

KPLU jazz host Paige Hansen did.   Here's how it went down.

Paige told me she was filling up when the guy at the next pump over asked her if she'd like to buy some meat.  And she did.  A lot.  Since she survived to tell the tale I guess she got away with it okay.  In fact she said she and her husband had just eaten one of the steaks the night before "... and it was great."

Nancy Leson

In this week's Food for Thought, Nancy talks about her chicken pot pie recipe and I pile in with an abbreviated list of the things I think  I make the best of. We also recruited KPLU newsies Paula Wissel and Erin Hennessey along with production maven Nick Morrison to brag on what  their significant others say are their culinary triumphs.  

Click where it says "Listen" to hear all about it.

Nancy Leson

Well, optional for you maybe.  Me, I like a nice hunk of bacon nestled in there with some slow-cooked collards.  I got  turned on to eating them with a few shakes of the hot pepper vinegar  on the counter at Lamar's, a greasy spoon I used to frequent in Biloxi.

Nancy Leson

Sure, the traditional St. Patrick's  Day dinner all over the world is corned beef and cabbage.  But not in Ireland.  So what do the Irish in Ireland eat on March 17th?

Dick Stein

This Monday, March 12th, in honor the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts and the 95th anniversary of Girl Scout cookies, I will eat an entire carton of Thin Mints. Sure, I could do more. I could eat two cartons.

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

No, not  about Cracker the p(t)et pterodactyl in Captain Underpants. He'd snack on you. Nor do I refer to the Hamadryas  genus of brush-footed butterflies commonly called The Cracker. This is about the kind of crackers you eat. And eat. And eat.

My recipes.com

I think so.  Just look at it: Yogurt. Call it a typographical phobia but I'm not eatin' anything that looks like that word.   Even its etymology is not encouraging. 

Wikipedia/Photoshopping by Justin Steyer / Wikipedia

When my Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson confided to me that she was taking a six-month leave of absence from The Times I predicted that she'd be climbing the walls within a month.  How wrong I was.

It happened to KPLU's Grooveyard and Weekend Edition host Kevin Kniestedt. Assaulted by a deranged woman in an electric shopping cart at a local supermarket.  Click "listen" to hear him describe his harrowing ordeal.

Old Appliance Club

My heart says "No" but my head says "They make 'em better." Probably... I think.  

Although it's true that my kitchen stove, new just four years ago, began emitting un-ignited gas in a near-death fashion, I still think that today's appliances must be more reliable than those of decades past. Aren't they? 

My Food for Thought pard, Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson isn't so sure.

I don't bother to do it but Nancy Leson does. Find out why below – along with the reason you should never use old tuna cans to cut biscuits. 

I've also posted my "Clamity Cheryl" DeGroot-approved red clam sauce recipe. You can make it in the time it takes to bring a big pot of water to boil for the spaghetti – and in these times of the Fetish for Fresh it's proud to use canned clams.

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

Is the best way to store bread in the bag or in the fridge? In the immortal words of Prizzi's Honor hit man Charlie Partanna, "Which one of dese?"

Dick Stein / KPLU

 It's Zuppa di cavolo nero – Red Cabbage and Bean soup from Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cookbook.  Good as it looks, it tastes even better.  (Check out her recipe below).

Dick Stein / KPLU

While less adventurous eaters may turn up (or even hold) their noses, local foodistas have made the dairy/dussumeria pairing the hottest trend since Korean taco trucks.  

But not just any sardine and not just any ice cream will do.

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

I do. So does Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson – but only if they're fried. Others won't eat them at all, no matter how succulently crisp those feathery little hind appendages may be.

Nancy Leson / Serattle Times

Or should that be "grate"?  My Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson swears she uses a box grater not a food processor to grate the spuds.  Good thing she keeps a sufficient supply of band-aids on hand. Keep reading for the recipe.

Dick Stein / KPLU

 Don't you think you're due? It had been about ten years for me and that was too long. 

Traditionalist that I am I went with Oscar Mayer, spongy white bread,  mayo, iceberg lettuce and house-brand chips. The result is pictured above. Was it good?

Dick Stein / KPLU

For many a year I was quite proud that other than appliances I owned no kitchen tools, pots, pans or gear of any kind that I paid more than $10 for.  

There was just one problem.

Dick Stein / KPLU

I was so proud of my brilliant Thanksgiving pecan pie innovation.  And then I learned the awful truth.

Dick Stein / KPLU

I love gravy. It's like liquid meat. Here's how I make it.

Ever since  I acquired Molly Stevens' All About Braising  in '04 my copy has become progressively more stained, tattered and torn.  In fact, some of the pages are actually falling out.    That's how good a cookbook it is.  Now the long wait is over.  Five years in the making, All About Roasting  is out at last— and just in time for Thanksgiving. 

Dick Stein / KPLU

Hint: It has to do with baking.  But first take a look at picture #2 above.  I've had that picture for years and still have no idea what the thing is or does.  

If you do please share.  And now the answer to the question posed in today's headline.

Last weekend my wife asked me if I would make her some egg fu yung. "You want egg rolls wit' dat?" I asked.  Of course she did.  But why stop there?

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

According to Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, the Narragansett Tribe  called it askutasquash, meaning  "a green thing eaten raw."  Of course squash comes in plenty more colors than green and usually we cook it. 

Here's two ways.

Dick Stein / KPLU

I clipped the steamed minced pork with salted duck eggs recipe pictured above from a Honolulu newspaper decades ago. After a few years and much use I transcribed and pasted it, apparently with oyster sauce, to the inside of that cookbook.  

I'll post a more legible version further down so keep reading.

Dick Stein / KPLU

Which would you rather mix up some cake or waffle batter in? 

My birthday present, that stoneware beauty pictured above, or some soulless plastic thing?